Ex-mayor of Yona Jesse Blas has successfully delayed sentencing in the federal extortion case against him.
Convicted of drug-related extortion crimes, Blas won’t be sentenced until January 2021, as a result of the impact COVID-19 has had on judicial proceedings.
District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood granted the motion which contended that the ongoing pandemic has created logistical issues that makes in-person testimony of an important witness at the sentencing impossible.
“Plaintiff must present the testimony via video conference. On the other hand, counsel for the defendant raised several concerns about allowing the presentation of testimony via video conference as he had generally understood the witness would be physically present,” stated court documents.
Considering the difficulty and the unforeseen circumstances, the Chief Judge granted Blas’ request and continued sentencing to January 2021.
A status hearing has been set for November 30.